History is an interesting subject. Sometimes, you would find unexpected parallels in avenues where you never expect to find one. For example, take the case of Aryan Invasion Theory. The story is simple. Some foreigners, whom they claim as a foreign race called Aryans invaded the Indus Valley Civilization and subdued it. The remnants of the subdued race fled to other parts of India, supposedly followed by the Aryans who slowly populated the whole of India, with the Aryan culture taking it’s own time to reach the extremes of India.

Now, look at what the Chinese call Huaxia concept or the Han Chinese concept. In it’s simplest terms, Huaxia represents a common Chinese identity and civilization which came from a “self awareness of a common cultural ancestry of the pre-Qin Confederacy Era”. No one will tell you what the confederacy is. But, everything is Han Chinese.

May be, this topic needs a deeper look? A look at Neolithic China clearly shows the three tribal groupings in China – the Hwang Ho(Yellow River) Group, the Yangtze River Group and the Zhu Jiang(Pearl River) Group. But the important thing to consider is they are all isolated and sometimes, overlapping tribal groupings.


As time passed, in the third millenium BC(traditional start date: 2852 BC) one would see that these isolated/interacting tribes slowly grew up to become tribal confederacies, but they still maintained the Upper River level groupings approximately.

Map of tribes and tribal unions in Ancient China, including the tribes led by Huang Di, Yan Di and Chiyou.

Though Hundred Viet Tribes is shown as an outlier, the fact is that Pearl Valley Civilization morphed into Viets whose control extended from the North of Vietnam till the current Guangzhou. Even during this period, which is actually considered to be the first empire period of China (what is called Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors Era), there is nothing like Han Chinese identity. It’s just tribal confederacies with some dominating tribes like Shennong or Chiyou, whose legendary leaders are considered to be the Fathers of China.

It’s a matter of time that one of the confederacy expands and subjugates the other confederacies and isolated tribes – it was Hua Xia confederacy which did that. Xia Empire which arose out of the Hua Xia confederacy which was succeeded by the Shang and then Zhou Empires forming the Modern China. According to the traditional Chinese lore, there is a peaceful succession between Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors Era and Xia, and an invasion of Xia by Shang – Shang being a vassal/ally of Xia. Zhou which succeded Shang, again, traced it’s origins to an earlier Shang ruler, thus forming a direct link from the Hua Xia Confederacy till the current times.

A look at Shang territories will tell what the core Hua Xia territories are – one would see that the geography didn’t differ much except for the fact that the Empire expanded slowly towards the coast.

This map depicts various advanced, stratified societies that existed during the period of the Shang state.

Zhou was an expansionist state and we would see that the empire expanded to cover both Hwang Ho and Yangtze. But the weakened Zhou Centre fragmented to create what is called Warring States Period which ended when the Qin conquered everyone creating the first historical empire in China.


All this history of Early China is irrelevant unless for the concept of Huaxia. Qin needed a way to legitimize their ascent to power. They had to force the public to accept the transfer of Mandate of Heaven(to rule) from the Zhao. They did the simplest thing available – they traced their origins to one of the Five Emperors and declared themselves to be of Hua Xia. Probably, there was an overt display of the HuaXia or the Han Chinese ethos – where everyone is a Han Chinese. It doesn’t matter to you which tribe you are from. Now, you are a Han Chinese. As China expanded, Han Chinese also expanded. No one would call the rulers of Han Dynasty as Chu. Everyone is a Han now.

However, there is one glaring thing here – not everyone accepted them to be Han Chinese. For example, the Viet tribes of Nanyue. Though they coexisted with the Chinese from the earliest days and they existed in the current Chinese territories and were subjugated by the Chinese armies by 111 BC and became a part of China till 982 AD, one would see that the Dai Viet never became a part of Han Chinese. This can probably explain the demarcation of the timeline when people were not allowed to become a part of Han China.

Now, switching back to India. It took almost 2500 years for isolated tribes to evolve into the concept of a single China. Why should this be different in India? For example, Shatapatha Brahmana states that Andhras are a tribe which held out independently. But, by the time of Satavahanas, there are no Andhras. Andhra has become a province which is no different from that of any other kingdom/province in India. This need not be an invasion. A voluntary acceptance of the culture of the neighbour is more than enough and it happened many a time. What were the tribes of Rig Veda like the Drhyu and the Bharata got to be denoted as dynasties and kingdoms. The vertical division of tribes has slowly transmorphed into a horizontal social hierarchy. All of this, does this really need a foreign invasion? As China showed, this can happen through percolation and slow expansion. Again, like the Chinese who refused to include the tribes into Han Chinese mould, we would see India clearly demarcate Arya and Mleccha – denoting the tribes generally on the other side of Khyber like the Kambojas or the Hunas. In fact, one can see this at a micro level with examples like the Tamil kingdoms of Chola, Chera and Pandya emerging as empires in their own right through the Chinese fashion – isolated establishments emerging into a confederacy and then, kingdoms in their own right.

In fact, this is how civilization emerged all over the world – a seed which expanded in all directions till it hit a barrier and giving the whole territory the name of the tribe/confederacy and which later became the idea behind the concept of a nation-state.

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